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Burkina suffered serious unrest following tribal violence in the Mali border region last May. Islamic militants now hold about two-thirds of Mali after taking advantage of the disorder that followed a March 22 military coup. The coup, in turn, was carried out by demoralized soldiers who had been defeated by Tuareg nationalists in northern Mali. Some 200,000 refugees are estimated to have poured into Burkina, Niger and Mauritania during the Tuareg rebellion.
Burkina’s border region with Mali and Niger remains under a Canadian government travel advisory due to “armed groups and the threat of banditry and kidnapping. Recent events in Mali have left large parts of that country under the control of Islamist groups with known ties to Al-Qaeda. The possibility of such elements crossing the often porous border with Burkina Faso cannot be discounted.”
But despite its proximity to Niger and Mali, the largest of Burkina’s six operating gold mines continues production. IAMGOLD’s TSX:IMG Essakane Mine produced 337,000 gold ounces in 2011 and 30,000 in Q1 2012.
Other companies busy in Burkina include Volta Resources TSX:VTR, which released drill results from its Kiaka Gold Property on September 13. Orezone Gold TSX:ORE, which sold Essakane to IAMGOLD in 2008 for $139 million, released assays from its Bomboré Gold Deposit on September 4 and a “world class” resource of 4.13 million ounces measured and indicated, and 1.03 million ounces inferred on August 27.
On August 29 SEMAFO TSX:SMF announced the discovery of a new high-grade gold zone 15 kilometres east of its Mana Mine mill.
Recent events in Mali have left large parts of that country under the control of Islamist groups with known ties to Al-Qaeda. The possibility of such elements crossing the often porous border with Burkina Faso cannot be discounted.—Canadian government
Also last month, Avion Gold TSX:AVR released data for another 26 holes from its Houndé Project. At the same time, the company announced its acquisition by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV in an all-stock deal worth about $389 million. The companies expect to consummate by October. The announcement propelled Avion’s stock 21%, from an August 7 open of $0.53 to an August 8 high of $0.78.
Another company with Burkina prominence is Cluff Gold TSX:CFG. On September 12 it announced an MOI for a strategic partnership with Samsung C&T Corp. The deal gives Cluff an initial US$20 million of debt finance supported by its Kalsaka-Sega Project. Kalsaka is expected to produce 60,000 to 70,000 gold ounces this year, while Sega, 20 kilometres north, is scheduled to start production in Q1 2013.
Roxgold Inc TSXV:ROG released its Yaramoko Property resource last month, estimating 354,000 gold ounces indicated and 306,000 ounces inferred. But most of the company’s recent news has been sparked by activist shareholder Oliver Lennox-King. On September 17 Roxgold stated that Lennox-King rejected its compromise offer regarding company appointments. The issue will likely come to a head at the company’s AGM on September 25.
Out of 93 mining jurisdictions internationally, Burkina ranks 38th according to the most recent Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies.
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